When you visit Zanzibar, you will be greeted by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but planning a holiday means knowing about the Zanzibar transport options too. Zanzibar is more than just a beach vacation. There are great restaurants, fantastic live music options, and numerous festivals within the city and its historic centre of Stone Town. Take a look at our quick guide to Zanzibar transport for your next holiday.
Fly to Zanzibar
Zanzibar is now easily accessible from the rest of the world. It has established itself as a premier beach destination in East Africa, and its accessibility demonstrates this. It is not as upscale as the Seychelles and positions itself as a destination for both budget and luxury travellers.
Zanzibar is well served by international flights from all over the world, with Qatar and Ethiopian airlines operating direct flights from Doha and Addis Ababa. These direct flights make it easy for international connections from most parts of the world. Those flying from Johannesburg in South Africa can now enjoy a short three-hour flight to Zanzibar, and at affordable rates.
Additionally, if you’re in Tanzania already, you can quickly reach Zanzibar by air from popular places like Kilimanjaro and Arusha.
Take the ferry to Zanzibar
Taking a ferry to Zanzibar is an excellent way to begin your holiday. The journey from Dar es Salaam provides breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, particularly during the dry season when it is less windy. The ferry ride from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar takes about an hour and 45 minutes. The ferry service is available several times per day.
Choose a reputable ferry operator for your Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar ferry trip. Azam Marine is one of the more trustworthy companies. The Zanzibar ferry is extremely popular, especially between June and October when the island’s weather is at its best, so each ticket should be booked and purchased a day or two in advance. This can be done online, over the phone, or at the Dar es Salaam ferry terminal. You can also ask your hotel for assistance.
It is important to note that you should not purchase ferry tickets from people on the street who claim to be representatives or agents for ferry companies.
Getting around Zanzibar
Take a dala-dala for an authentic local experience — a popular Zanzibar transport option. These Jeepney-style vehicles can seat approximately 20 people (although you might find them a little cramped and uncomfortable). You can take them to the north and south from Darajani Market in Stone Town in Zanzibar City on Unguja.
Please note that there are no dala-dala timetables, so you’ll have to ask a local. Some may try to take advantage of you by asking for your fare in advance and charging you a significantly higher fee.
Taxis in Zanzibar
Taxis give you the most flexibility in terms of departure times and destinations, and is a safe Zanzibar transport option. If you want door-to-door service and can afford the higher rates, a private transfer is a way to go. Taxis can be very affordable if you travel in a group. Street taxi fares vary greatly, so shop around for the best deals. When you book a holiday package to Zanzibar, you can generally ask to include private transfers from the airport to your accommodation, making the arrival process a lot smoother than haggling with a taxi driver after a long flight.
Car or Bike Rentals
If you want to go exploring on your own, renting a car or a motorcycle is an appealing option. A license is not required to rent a two-wheeler, but one is required to rent a car. We have a variety of car and bike rental options, so feel free to contact us to book a rental.
If you’re staying in Stone Town then you will find most places are accessible by walking. However, if you’re staying on one of the beaches of Zanzibar, we highly recommend doing a Stone Town walking tour.